The parent to several trucking companies, including YRC Freight, released earnings Thursday showing an improvement in the fourth quarter of 2014, but the company was still in the red for all of last year.
Fourth quarter net income at YRC Worldwide Inc. totaled $6.2 million compared to just $400,000 the same time a year earlier, with earnings per basic share rising to 20 cents from 4 cents. This marked its second straight quarterly profit for the Kansas-based company.
Consolidated operating revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014 was $1.218 billion, a $10 million increase over the $1.208 billion reported for the fourth quarter of 2013.
For all of last year the company recorded a loss of $67.7 million compared to a loss $83.6 million in 2013, with a loss per basic share of $3 in the most recent quarter compared to $8.96 a year earlier.
Revenue for last year moved higher to $5.07 billion from $4.87 billion in 2013.
During the fourth quarter of 2014, YRC Freight, the company’s largest operation, saw yield growth compared to the prior year of 5.7%, including fuel surcharge, and 7.3%, excluding fuel surcharge. During this time it also achieved total revenue per hundredweight, including fuel surcharge, increases of 4.8% in October, 6.9% in November and 5.7% in December.
‘The year-over-year increase in yield continued the trend that began in the third quarter and continued to pick up momentum, especially when compared to the results excluding fuel surcharge and is a testament of improving base rates and fundamental pricing,” said James Welch, CEO.
On a year-over-year basis, YRC Freight reported tonnage per day decreases of 1.6% in October, 3.2% in November and 3.2% in December. The decreases in tonnage were a result of prioritizing yield improvement and profitability over volume, according to Welch.
Operating revenue for the fourth quarter of 2014 at the company’s regional carriers was $422.2 million, down from the $431 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2013. At the same time, operating income decreased from $22.7 million to $10.6 million.
"The fourth quarter results for the regional segment were negatively impacted by four fewer workdays compared to the prior year and approximately $10.2 million of additional year-over-year expense related to liability claims and an additional $2 million of workers' compensation expense," said Welch.
During the quarter, YRC said the regional companies saw yield growth compared to the prior year of 3.5%, including fuel surcharge, and 4.8%, excluding fuel surcharge. On a monthly year-over-year basis, the regional operations achieved total revenue per hundredweight, including fuel surcharge, increases of 2.7% in October, 2.8% in November and 4.9% in December, and reported tonnage per day increases of 0.6% in October and 2.5% in November and a 0.3% decrease in December.
"Improving base rates, operating efficiencies and safety performance will continue to be a focus for the regional companies as they too will be challenged with the lower fuel price environment," said Welch.